Double Hue by Briana Lawrence with Interview

Hey everyone, today we are interviewing a newer author to the MM Genre Briana Lawrence! Double Hue is Briana’s first MM novel and I think she has enthralled our little Kitty Cat with this thriller, so I let Cat out of her cage to ask Briana a couple of questions and the little minx tied Briana up with her questions! So read Cat’s review and stick around to see how Briana handled her interview and if Cat finally let her go 😉 ~Pixie~ 


Briana Lawrence - Double Hue1Title:  Double Hue

Author:  Briana Lawrence

Genre:  Thriller

Length: Novel (214pgs) (80, 815 words)

Publisher: Eternal Press (November 15th 2013)

Heat: Moderate

Heart: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Cat

Blurb: When there’s red, close your eyes and try again.

“Maybe he’s right. Maybe I am the cause of this. Maybe you were normal before meeting me.”

When something tragic happens, you want nothing more than to close your eyes and make all of the pain go away. For Gable Peterson it’s a little more complicated than that. When detective Maurice Ashford shows up at his door with news that his boyfriend, Avery Blair, has been found dead, Gable is left devastated. Seeking some sort of comfort, Gable closes his eyes and imagines a world where none of this happened.

Only, when Gable wakes up, he’s surprised to see that Avery is still alive.

Purchase Link:

Review: Wow! This was one heck of a wild ride. This story reminded me a little of the movie groundhog day but a mystery/ thriller.  Let’s see where shall I begin?

Gable and Avery have been lovers for four years. They are in their last year of college. They love each other very much and have such a fabulous relationship.  One day Gable wakes up to a knock on his door and a detective tells him his Avery is dead. As we read on this begins to repeat. No. I am not saying this story is repetitive since each time we read it something changes, at first just a little, then a lot, then when you think you have it all figured But…BAM the entire scene changes, view changes and things get even crazier.

There are so many twists and turns in this story it’s like an amusement park ride; you go slow and sweet (the love between the characters), then faster (the announcement Avery is dead), then round and round, the twists and then it slows down and you think it’s over …whoosh—another big twist, change of direction (character point of view) and we go twisting and turning again right up to the end. My fingers are sore where I chewed my nails to the quick.

I loved Gable. He is the perfect boyfriend and you could just feel his pain and panic throughout this story. I also adored Avery. He is fun and also brilliant.  As the story unravels you can just about picture his beauty and wit. The bad guy? Now he is just scary…one of those people you trust, then find out they are just sick. At times I did feel a bit sorry for him, just a little.

This is a unique, brilliant story and if you like time-travel, sweet loving relationships, a mystery with lots of twists and turns, a psychological thriller and nail-biting suspense this is for you. 

Cat’s interview with Briana Lawrence!

Hi everyone! *Cat waves as she enters the dungeon .., oops… Interview room* Our victim…oops… guest today is Briana Lawrence.

Cat: Hello Briana. How are you today?

Briana:  I… um… *looks around*  … is this a dungeon?  Nevermind, I already agreed to the interview… I’m doing fine!  *shaky smile*

 Cat: That’s fabulous. Would you like to tell our readers a little about yourself?

Briana:  Sure!  I’m a child cleverly disguised as an adult.  All right, all right, I suppose the correct term is “child at heart.”  Give me a bowl of cereal and a Netflix marathon of some 90s cartoons and I’m a happy girl.  That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy the occasional fancy restaurant or planning a dream vacation… or planning a movie day with friends.  I’m sort of a mixed bag?  Though, deep down, I’m a geeky girl who loves her video games and anime, but I also do crafts like woodburning and painting.  My partner and I go to conventions together with our art and, now, our books.  We also cosplay.  It’s a lot of fun!  Sometimes you just want to dress like Princess Tiana, you know?

Hey Cat… are you restraining my hands?  That’s not really necessary…

Cat: I just finished reading Double Hue. I absolutely loved it. How did you come up with the story?

Briana:  *forgets about restraints due to compliment* Thank you so much!  I’m glad you enjoyed it.  Let’s see, how did “Double Hue” come to pass…

I got the idea in my head a few years ago.  I imagined someone being told that his lover was dead, and how when we lose someone, we usual think about how we want them back in our lives.  Well… what if you could go back?  What if that person didn’t have to die?  That’s how it all started, then it took on a life of its own over time.   Thanks to some motivation via National Novel Writing Month I finished the book!

Cat: Was any of it based on actual people or events?

Briana:  Somewhat.  I mean the thought of wanting someone back who we lost is something I think about sometimes when I think about my older brother, who died when I was 13.  So little thoughts like that made it into the book. 

Also, Gable and Avery’s relationship kind of mirrors my relationship with my partner.  Not anything too huge, but the small things: me being a gamer and her watching me play (though she doesn’t make fun of me as much as Gable does Avery… sort of.)  Also, there’s the coming out theme.  The fact that Gable and Avery do it their senior year of college is definitely a page from my partner and I because that’s the year we came out to our parents (except for my mother, who I came out to prior to that).  Avery’s parents react horribly, and while my partner’s parents and my dad didn’t take it positively at first, they didn’t flat out disown us like Avery’s parents.  Also, our parents eventually came around.  We’re all a big, happy family now.     

Cat: What is the significance of the title?

Briana:  Originally it was called “Double H” after the murderer in the book.  But then while I was editing it I realized how many times colors played a part in the story, so I ended up thinking of “hue.”

Cat:  Colors play an important factor in this story.  What made you think of making a box of colors so important?

Briana:  Ha!  I just said that, huh?  Actually, it’s Avery’s fault!  While I was writing, he became more animated.  Gable is sort of more serious and is the “I need to study for the top grade” boyfriend.  Meanwhile, Avery is like, “Gonna play Kingdom Hearts then practice for my musical by singing all night.”  In the beginning of the story, Gable mockingly calls Avery a starving artist and comments on how he’ll “have to feed his ass” since he’s career focused and Avery’s all, “I wanna see my name in lights.”

This isn’t to say that Gable isn’t supportive of Avery, because he is, and he wants to see his boyfriend’s names in lights.  He knows that Avery’s acting is just as serious as his own career goals.  This is just an example of their banter.  Avery’s always talking about how boring Gable’s life would be without him while Gable comments about his Liberal Arts major.  By writing for the two of them, a thought came to me of Gable being one of those kids who didn’t play with the power of imagination.  His grandfather got him crayons and Gable was like, “Blah.”  He was the kid who needed the actual toy, you know?  No using your imagination, he straight up wanted the fire truck because it was, indeed, the fire truck – none of that “pretend that your shoebox is a truck” stuff.  That was the first time the crayons came up, and with colors playing such a huge part I thought, “What if those crayons are a recurring theme?”

Cat: Is this your first story? If not, how many other books do you have, and where would we find them?

Briana:  Does fanfiction count?  Don’t answer that.  Fanfiction is important but you don’t need to answer that because I have waaaaaaaay too many fanfics.

As far as published works, “Double Hue” isn’t my first.   This is my first novel length M/M tale, but I do have other books too.  I can include links and blurbs for you.  I think every single one has M/M content somehow.

  1. Briana Lawrence - Treat Me KindlyTreat Me Kindly (my first book)

I only ask that you treat me kindly, then I will do the same for you.


The words of the invitation whisper gently into your ear, speaking of rare and exotic animals unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. To detective Alex Sampson, however, that invitation speaks of something else. Death. Attendees at a prestigious animal auction are turning up dead, each murder more brutal than the last. The only clue to each crime points to a different animal, but when did birds and butterflies go from being aphrodisiacs for fairy tales to deadly mass murderers?

Amazon Link:

  1. Briana Lawrence - Press Play to StartPress START to Play (a short story featured in an anthology through Dreamspinner Press)

Lukis Singleton’s once-popular sports column is fading fast, thanks to the terrible track record of the local football team. In an attempt to save the column, Lukis’s editor, John, decides he needs to go in a different direction. Video games are all the rage these days, so John insists that sending Lukis to a huge video-game tournament in Los Angeles will shake up his current readers and bring in new ones. Lukis isn’t thrilled about reporting on games with impossible powers or gamers who still live in Mom’s basement, but then he meets a tempting flaw in the gaming stereotypes of unwashed man-children. Aaron Sanders is a gorgeous breath of fresh air at the tournament who takes Lukis’s less-than-stellar view of gamers and turns it on its head, leaving Lukis to wonder if it might be worth being Aaron’s player two.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2013 Daily Dose package “Make a Play”.


Amazon Link:

  1. Seeking the Storyteller (adventure series with my partner)Briana Lawrence - Seeking the Storyteller

I know of the Storyteller, it whispers into the man’s ear, I’ve met him. If you promise not to kill me, I’ll take you to him. 

Alix Andre DeBenit and Randall Fagan are Hunters, part of a hidden network of humans who track and kill the monsters lurking in our world so everyone else can pretend they don’t exist. But when a living shadow mentions someone called the Storyteller, Alix hesitantly decides to learn more. 

They say the Storyteller lives in a massive library full of books that tell every being’s life story. He can read these books, rewrite them and change anything he wants, even if it’s already happened. That’s the power Alix wants, the power to bring his murdered family back and he’s determined to make the Storyteller do it. 

He just has to decide if working with the very creatures he’s supposed to kill is worth it.


Amazon Link:

Cat: What do you do in your spare time?

Briana:  I sort of mentioned it before, with my crafts and going to conventions and cosplay.  I can share links to those things!  I’ve even written an article about my cosplay for xoJane, so my spare time hobbies are becoming more of, well… a thing?  It’s pretty amazing when things work out that way.

  1. Etsy Shop:
  2. Cosplay Page:

Cat: Are you currently working on anything new? Will it be in the same genre or is it something different?

Briana:  Currently we’re getting ready for conventions and I plan on having my books there.  With “Seeking the Storyteller” just coming out in December, my partner and I are both working on promoting it while I’m promoting “Double Hue” at the same time.  So, currently, I’m not working on too much.  I did just submit two stories into Dreamspinner though, so I hope to hear something back that’s positive.  One is a Christmas story with a fun twist and the other is about voyeurism.  So they’re not as heavy as “Double Hue,” but they are still in the realm of M/M romance.  I really like writing M/M work, so it usually makes it into my work somehow.

I do have a plan for an anthology I’d love to write.  It’s romance, but for geeks.  Just different, romantic tales in the geek community, from cosplay, to gaming, to going to conventions, and just… anything and everything I can think of.  And I want it to feature all sorts of diverse couples.  I have an outline written out at the moment, it’s just a matter of starting it.

Cat: Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule. *unties restraints* is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Briana:  I thought my wrists would hurt, but wow, you tied me down with great care!  Thanks so much for the interview!  And thanks to everyone who read it, and who are keeping up with my works.  I hope you find enjoyment in them!

Cat: Just in case there are other stalkers…ooops .. I mean readers, where can we find you?

Briana:  Stalkers huh?  Are they the kind who support writers and artists?  Because if so…

My Website:

My Facebook Author Page:

My Writing Blog:

My Goodreads:

My Amazon Author page:

Pixie's Author Interview with Storm Moon Press's Blaine D. Arden

MM Good Book Reviews lead reviewer, Pixie, tracked down one of Storm Moon Press’s newest writers, Blaine D. Arden.  Her short story, The Storyteller is an erotic fantasy piece that bleeped my radar.  It’s sexy and so well written, I just didn’t want it to end. Since then, she has gone on to writer both fantasy and mystery and has been featured in several Goodread anthologies.

Enjoy their chat,




Tell us a little about yourself Blaine and is your hair naturally purple (What? You never know)
Well, I’m a purple haired, forty-something, writer of gay romance with a love of men, music, mystery, magic, fairies, platform shoes and the colors black, purple and red, who sings her way through life.
Born and raised in Zutphen, the Netherlands, I spent many hours of my sheltered youth reading, day dreaming, making up stories and acting them out with my Barbies.
I’ve been married for almost twenty-two years to a man who gave me all the space I needed to grow, and together we raise—or try to, anyway—two sons, a foster-son (17, 20 and 19) and a ten-year old cairn terrier named Kendra.

As for my purple hair: Of course it is natural!! *snort*
Nah, I’m a natural blonde, so the purple is purely for artificial intelligence and vanity. You can check my color here: though I was quite a bit younger then *wink* (in this photo I’m actually writing my first gay fiction)

Blaine do you set aside time to write or do you just go with when the inspiration strikes?
Well, I treat writing as my profession, so I write every day. I don’t quite make a 40 hour work week, with appointments, household, family, social gatherings and social networking distracting me from it, but I try to write a couple of hours in the morning and another couple in the afternoon.
But… I am a writer, so I drag a notebook everywhere and will definitely write when the inspiration strikes. I often complain that inspiration is a bitch with a lousy sense of timing, especially when she strikes right after I turned my lamp off to go to sleep.

You started out writing quite young, did you always want to be a published writer or is that just a nice bonus?
No, not always. I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer, and writing wasn’t exactly encouraged at home. And while I did try to get a story published at eighteen—still can’t believe I did that, and shudder at how badly written it was—I still didn’t think of it as a future career. Writing always came second… well, last, to anything: studying, job, family, chores. I think the idea of being published didn’t take hold again until I finished my first NaNoWriMo project a couple of years ago, but I didn’t take a conscious step towards being published until January last year, when I dumped my studies to focus on my writing full-time. No regrets yet *grin*

How do your family support you in your writing? (Little bell next to computer to summon someone to make you a drink?)
I love my men to bits, but I doubt any of them would bring me something to drink until I asked them, repeatedly, and even then I’d probably have to wait a couple of hours for them to remember they promised to bring me one… They hug me and cheer for me when I receive good news, they stay out of my way when I request it (yes, sometimes I have to ask more than once for it to stick in their minds), they put up with my bouncy hysterics when I’m soaring and moodiness when I’m stressing out over a deadline.

Blaine what gave you that little push to finally submit your work?
Oh. Well, after I made the decision to go for my writing career, I joined a critique group, and the comments to my first chapter/scene were helpful and encouraging. It amazed me how level-headed I was when reading the edits (though I often kick at them during a first read-through, my inner editor takes over on the second read and agrees with most of the suggestions). I think that was the final nudge to giving it a go.

I have to ask, was it difficult getting someone to publish your work when you decided to take that step?
Err… not yet. At least, not in my experience. Out of three submissions, I was rejected once, and that novel subsequently was accepted elsewhere. Though, the first line of my first acceptance email almost gave me a heart-attack, because they didn’t think the story fit the anthology I submitted it for. But they wanted the story anyway. Phew! I was on holiday in the UK at that time, and I think the whole campsite could hear my joy.

And how do you find it working with Storm Moon Press?
Enjoying it very much so far. The staff is very friendly and helpful and I love the banter during the editing. I never take anything for granted and ask about every change I don’t get (when not explained in the comments) and defend every change I don’t agree with, and it’s encouraged. In the end, it’s all for the good of the story. I like that they handle a lot of the marketing and arrange reviews/interviews/guest blogs, if you’re willing to do those. So, all around, very enjoyable. Oh, and I love their covers. *grin*

So, Blaine you write M/M, how did you decide to write in this genre and what book inspired you to take the plunge.
I wrote my first gay fiction when I was 17/18. I was a rather naïve idealist and with all the negativity on homosexuality and AIDS on TV, I wanted to show the world how beautiful love between men could be. I’ve written non-gay stories over the years as well, but somehow I always come back to my men. It wasn’t a book that inspired me to take the plunge; I was inspired by films, three of them to be precise. ‘An Early Frost’ is the film that started it all, ‘Maurice’ is the film I fell in love with and ‘Beautiful Thing’ is the film that finally convinced me that my view on gay romance wasn’t wrong, like I thought it was for a while. Of course, if you want to be technical, ‘Maurice’ is a book as well, by E.M. Forster, but I saw the film before I read the book.

Who is your favorite fantasy/mystery character out of all the books you have read?
Out of ALL the books I’ve read? Oh, boy… My first thought was Snape… so I’ll be going with that, though Mrs. Pollifax is a very good runner-up. Snape embodies the types I tend to fall for, the underdog, the aloof, the stoic, not quite bad guy, while Mrs. Pollifax embodies every girl’s dream. Who doesn’t want to be a secret agent on dangerous missions? LOL

You seem to have an affinity for fantasy; will you be branching out into other genres?
I make occasional road-trips to other genres—Aliens, Smith and Jones is SF—but I feel fantasy is where I’m strongest. I know it sounds strange, but creating my own world with its own culture and rules is far easier for me than researching contemporary cultures. I’m not very politics and culture minded and I don’t read the news papers, so am often not quite up to date on what’s happening where. I am a dreamer, after all, and I like living in my own world, however inconvenient that often is. Plus there is this annoying habit I have of wanting to write stories in which no one cares what gender your partner is, and our world just isn’t ready for that yet, regrettably.

Your next book is Aliens, Smith and Jones (expected release 20th July 2012) tell us a little about it and how it came to life.
How it came to life? Oh, my? Do you have a day or two? No? I’ll try to keep it short, then.
Aliens started life as a short story from the point of view of a virtually immortal ex-alien who falls in love for the second time in 400 years. But while writing I started to realize that writing from the point of view of his lover was much more interesting, considering he was the one with all the action, tracking and monitoring alien beings and artifacts. And then came the blind date that wouldn’t go away and the story grew into a novel.

Aliens, Smith and Jones is about Connor Smith, who works for Primrose, an organization tasked with monitoring and tracking aliens and alien technology. It’s a job that doesn’t know the meaning of “nine-to-five”. It also doesn’t leave much room for a social life, a complication that Connor hasn’t minded, until now. At the prodding of his best friend, Connor reluctantly puts himself back in the dating pool, even though it means lying about his remarkable life.

Elsewhere, Noah Jones has led a remarkable life of his own. Stranded on Earth in 1648, Noah was forced to transform himself permanently into human form to survive. He soon learned that in doing so, he’d become effectively immortal, aging only at a glacial pace. Alone, with no way to contact his people or return home, Noah becomes a silent observer of human civilization—always in the world, but never of the world. Then, hundreds of years later, he sees a face in a crowd and instantly feels a connection that he thought he’d never feel again. But he’s too late: Connor’s already taken.

Destiny is not without a sense of humor, though, and the two men are pulled inexorably closer, snared by the same web of dangers and conspiracies. Worse, Primrose is now aware of Noah, and they aren’t ones to leave an alien unrestrained. So while Connor struggles to understand the strange pull he feels toward Noah, forces without as well as within are working against them to keep them apart.

What advice would you give to a new comer to the M/M genre who is just starting out?
Write what you love and finish what you write. Don’t worry about publishing until after you’ve finished the story. Actually, don’t worry about publishing at all. Finish the story, then edit it, edit it again, let someone else (NOT your mother or best friend) look it over and don’t fear critique. Critique is not meant to hurt you, but meant to make your story better, meant to help you grow as a writer. And then read it through at least one last time.
And when you’re finally ready to submit, stick to the guidelines. I know the fonts are not the most beautiful, and the format may not make it pretty, but it’s not about looking pretty, it’s all about the text, and not making editors squint their eyes and think twice about even opening it. You want them to read your stuff, make it readable and stick to the guidelines.
Last, but not least, don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Other writers are often very willing to answer questions.

Tell us a little of your hobbies aside from writing.
I sing in a choir and I have singing lessons. I also practice QiGong.

And for those of us… err *cough splutter* for those of our readers who don’t know Qigong (unless you mean the artist and then I will look a complete pratt ;-)) what is it?
QiGong (aka Chi Kung) is the practice of aligning breath, movement and awareness for exercise, healing and meditation. And yes, I plucked that off the net to make sure I say it right. It’s a close relative to Tai Chi, actually and it’s all about your chi, your life force.

Do you think Qigong helps with your creativity? (Qigong is said to ‘allow access to higher realms of awareness, and awaken one’s “true nature”’)
I don’t really see relation to my creativity, but, I started doing it because my mind never shuts up. For me, going through those exercises, from posture to breathing to moving and being aware of what I’m doing, means that for an hour, hour and a half a week, my mind is slowed down and very much forced into the here and now.
But it’s entirely possible that giving my mind a break is good for my creativity.

Funnily enough my singing teacher teaches on the same principles, almost. She’s very in tune with her students and through breathing and mindfulness exercises she tries to get the best out of me, vocally and health wise. So, double-win situation for me.

You also sing.  Besides from choir singing, what other type of music do you like to sing to?
Oh, tough question, since I suck at naming genres. I sing rock/soft rock, ballads, top forty, country… whatever catches my fancy, really. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve sung Toto, Heart, Gotye (bit too low for me, unfortunately), Ilse DeLange, Adam Lambert, Maria Mena, Emmy Rossum and Kings of Leon. I have a rather eclectic taste and depending on my mood I’ll go for something that screams or something that’s small and more intimate in nature.

So Blaine tell us something that nobody else knows… not even your husband (leans forward in eager anticipation).
I had plenty of things to say, until I read the ‘not even your husband’ part. Is there anything my husband doesn’t know? I guess the only thing I could answer to that is how often or how much… He knows what sort of porn I love, but not how often I watch it. He also knows I buy books, just *cough* not how much money I spend on it *cough*
Disappointing answer, I know, but… I honestly don’t know what I haven’t told my husband. I think I even told him I fancied my ex-boyfriend’s father for a bit…

Well Blaine I have read a bit of your background and I have to ask… what’s wrong
with pixies? You love fairies and elves and dragons but not pixies (muttering about stinking fairies).
There’s nothing wrong with pixies, honestly. I just never thought to include them into my bio. Probably because I’ve not written about them… but never say never. I used to think I wasn’t ever going to write gun porn, and see how wrong I was about that *grin*

Okay Blaine a serious question now, if this world suddenly became a magical place what magical creature would you be? (What… you can tell a lot about the sort of person someone is by that choice!! Honest)
Magical creature? Oh, that’s open to so many interpretations. But, seeing how much I love pointy ears, I guess I’d have to go for fairy, elf or even pixie *grin* I’m none too picky, I just want to fly, wear pretty clothes and play with other creatures’ pointy ears. Though, I’d love to have a bit of magic, even if it’s just to do the dishes with the flick of a wrist

Okay Blaine tell the readers where they can find you and your books (seriously readers she writes good stuff).
*blush* thank you for the compliment.
my website:
my blog:
Twitter: @BlaineDArden

The Cool Part of His Pillow by Rodney Ross with Author Chat

Title: The Cool Part of His Pillow

Author: Rodney Ross

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Super Novel (336pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (14th May 2012)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥♥4 ½Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: The midforties are that time in a gay man’s life when his major paradigm shifts from sexy to sensible. But when Barry Grooms’s partner of twenty years is killed on Barry’s forty-fifth birthday, his world doesn’t so much evolve as it does explode.

After navigating through the surreal conveyor belt of friends and family, he can’t eat another casserole or swallow much more advice, and so, still numb, he escapes to Key West, then New York. He embraces a new mantra: Why the hell not? He becomes so spontaneous he’s ready to combust. First, he gets a thankless new job working for a crazy lady in a poncho, and then has too many drinks with a narcissistic Broadway actor. Next, it’s a nude exercise class that redefines flop sweat, and from there he’s on to a relationship with a man twenty years his junior, so youthfully oblivious he thinks Karen Carpenter is a lesbian woodworker.

Yet no matter how great the retreat from the man he used to be, life’s gravity spins Barry back to the town where he grew up for one more ironic twist that teaches him how to say good-bye with grace.

Purchase Link:

Review: Barry and Andy have been together for 23 years. It is Barry’s 45th birthday and tragedy strikes. As Barry struggles with the minefield of life, his friends and family look on helplessly, as he tries to find his path as just Barry.

This is a touching story of love, loss, anger, grief, new beginnings and trudging on with your life in the face of a terrible tragedy. It isn’t so much of a romance, it has romance, but it is not the focus, and there will be no dancing off under the moonlight with a new love. In this story we come across Barry the night before his birthday as he celebrates with his husband Andy. We stay with him through the next year as we see his loss, his new beginning, further loss and where he begins to heal.

This is not a book that you can put down easily once you get into it. As a matter of fact. I couldn’t even tell you where or how I became ensnared in Barry’s life. The characters that are described in this book start to become real to you.  Their characteristics come to life and you begin to feel like you get to know Andy, Barry and all their friends. When tragedy strikes you can feel their horror and pain.  You understand their reactions to everything and the need for levity at the funeral. And. you also understand that life still moves on, as their lives start to pull them back to reality.

We join Barry on his journey as he tries to find his life without Andy; dealing with avoidance, both physically, emotionally and mentally, with friends and with acquaintances who don’t know of Andy’s death, on the pitfalls of far-flung friends as having to explain again and again of his loss. Of beginning anew, making new friends and taking a new lover. This is about a man who has been set adrift from his rock and is trying to find a raft to stabilize him… so please don’t expect him to be having loads of sex and finding new love. Although Barry does have a new brief relationship we don’t get to see the sex, it is inferred.

I really wasn’t sure about this book when I first cracked it open, as the prologue seemed a little spacey to me. But then, I got into the first chapter and somewhere along the way I became enthralled with all the characters and their lives, their interactions and their friendships. There are some humorous parts and some tear making parts, some regretful parts and some angry parts. And watch as he steps into the dating pool again and fights a quagmire of online profiles.

I really do have to recommend that everyone give this one a try, it might not be dripping in sex and happy ever afters into the sunset but it is a great book and a touching read.

Pixie made contact with Rodney while he was vacationing in sunny Palm Springs, CA.  He was gracious enough to take a break from sunbathing on clothing optional beaches to grant MM Good Book Reviews and interview.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Hello Rodney, are you in the land of the living now?

Rodney Ross Here I am. Yes…just some suck-ass Wi-Fi here at the resort.

Rodney Ross From sunny Palm Springs, good morning, hon. May I call you hon?

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Yes that’s fine with me, do you prefer Rodney or Rod?

Rodney Ross Rodney.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Okay, so let’s begin. Rodney you have just released your first book, how does it feel?

Rodney Ross Hon, my apologies…I am having erratic Wi-Fi…as opposed to erotic.

I am hoping that by signing off, then returning (I’d get better reception.)  I am now with you.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Yep. Seems that way. 😉

Rodney Ross  So far, so good. To answer your question: it’s gratifying, of course, to see my work unleashed upon the world. But, until I hold the paperback version in my little palsied claws, it won’t quite feel real.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews I can see how that would work.  Like when you finally get a printed copy, it makes it more real.

Rodney Ross It does. I’m a very tactile person — not a hoarder, but my bookshelves groan under the weight of the works I REFUSE to part with.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews So, The Cool Part of His Pillow is not the typical romance, but I found it to be a compelling read.  Tell the readers a little about it please.

Rodney Ross My getaway to Palm Springs has at least given me some breathing room, time to focus on promotion…I have made the rounds of the few LGBT bookstores here and thankfully found DSP product…so I immediately set upon charming the owner or manager into ordering THE COOL PART OF HIS PILLOW.

Rodney Ross Thanks, hon, for the compliment. I know it doesn’t conform to the norm. Frankly, I was a little surprised Dreamspinner was keen on it. It is almost anti-romance, in that romance is almost completely subtracted from the main character’s life, with a very good chance he may never recreate happiness again. So, actually, it’s about finding new bliss, repurposing and reformatting and reinventing.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews I must admit to being fascinated by Barry. How did you come up with his character?

Rodney Ross Well, writing it as I did in first person, he surely embodies a lot of my views, politically, etc., but anyone who would consider it memoir is mistaken. I really wanted to address a certain age in the LGBT community, when a certain invisibility descends, and what happens then when the certainty of your life also vanishes. That Barry is successful, has money, all of his hair and teeth and a sense of humor means little when the touchstone of his life, his partner Andy, is whisked away in one horrendous moment.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews I have got to say, what a way for it to vanish, when I was reading it my heart was in my throat. You showed complete destruction of a person’s life in brilliant detail.

Rodney Ross His thought processes become a little skewed, his innate skepticism multiplies, he doesn’t trust much of anything, and then realizes that there has to be a sunset for him to dream on, somewhere. And so begins his journey…not exactly EAT, PRAY, LOVE, more (like) DRINK, SULK, BITCH for a time, but he works his way through. It was difficult to write. Having a partner of many years myself, it was difficult to conceive of such apocalyptic horror, and the ongoing trauma of the legal system, the viral video of the accident itself.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews I think it was brilliantly written. You grasped his stages of grief really well. It came across the page and let us join him and mourn with him.

Rodney Ross That was my goal. Grief is such a process, and to share it so publicly is additional torment. It redefines you. It becomes The New Normal.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Don’t give it away.  I was imagine all sorts of accidents, especially with Andy racing a train earlier in the book.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews And the actual shock of what really happened. wow.

Rodney Ross And without going into Spoilers, my hope is that the novel also demonstrates that, yes, sometimes the shit continues to hit the proverbial fan, and you have to don a bigger rain bonnet. It’s an unthinkable exit, that’s for sure. Yet, I also wanted to couch this in humor.

Without mumbling the trite “My favorite emotion is laughter through tears” stuff from STEEL MAGNOLIAS, indeed, I felt the circumstances needed a light touch. I have always been, and continue to be, a hopeful person, so that informs my writing. That tears are being shed does not preclude the possibility that a smile can be found in the darkness. You have to give the reader breathing humor.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews You did. It was exceptionally well done. Okay, less me gushing and more about you. As you said you have a long-term partner/husband and I read that it was your 30 year anniversary this year. How’s Greg been in the support and encouragement?

Rodney Ross Greg is the ultimate support system, which makes him sound like some space-age ventilator. As a writer himself — plays — he knows too well the angst and torment and anxiety and heavy lifting of writing. I mean: it’s not so easy. Digging ditches is hard labor, but constructing a plot and dialogue is itself a lot of sweat.

And Greg appreciates the fact that I will often disappear, when the muse hits, for hours in my office, tapping away, living other people’s lives. He’ll come in with a drinkie, or a reminder that dinner has gone cold, or laments that maybe pretty please could we go somewhere and look at real people and not just the ones I’m inhabiting?

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Sounds like he keeps you on track.  ;-).

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Well, do you have a certain process or is it something less structured, when you sit down to write?

Rodney Ross   A hybrid of both. I knew the first sentence of TCPohP when I sat down to write, and I knew the last, so I had an endgame, but I was always open to exploring how much I could get away with…several characters evolved radically, but they were always in the outline. I work from copious note-taking. I rarely share what I do with Greg, or anyone. I might run a concept by him and if he makes a squichface at me, I know maybe I am on the wrong track.

Key West, as literary-minded as it is, doesn’t have many reader groups, or author get-togethers, so I really don’t have a lot of interaction in that way…which can be a help or a hindrance, as it is.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Has Dreamspinner helped with their authors’ forum? Putting you in touch with other authors and the like?

Rodney Ross A bit. Again, I don’t really seek or need help with the craft…it’s really the promotion aspect that I have sought input on…book signings, the practicality of how to take a credit card, how big should the posters be, beer and wine versus soft drinks, all of those basic things that are unfamiliar terrain to me.

I worked in Advertising for over two decades, but I never promoted ME. Now, I — and the novel, of course — are the product, and it’s still a little off-putting. I am by nature talkative and friendly, but shaking the hands of strangers is surreal. So those are the things I have asked about, and gotten both good and not-

As bookstores vanish, there is less opportunity for those venues, so you have to explore the idea of LGBT centers, LGBT coffee shops, bars, lounges…I mean, if I could sing, I’d probably write a Karaoke blurb and perform the goddamn thing.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews So you had a lot of experience, you learn as you go along I suppose.  Well, after this you’ll soon be an old pro. I gotta ask how it was for you when you first started submitting your book to publishers.

Rodney Ross  Hateful.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews  Lol.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Ooohhh is that gossip I hear, come on spill.

Rodney Ross I felt like I had missed on some quota.”Oh, we already an LGBT author.” Or, “We have a book about The Gay coming out in 2013.”

I was surprised how closed the market is — mainstream publishers, I mean. If you aren’t Sedaris or Burroughs or Cunningham — all of whom I love — it becomes difficult to avoid the gay ghettoization.

My people is about people, not political concepts, it’s about pain, which is universal. But I think what most Literary managers and Editors saw was, “Oh boy, another one about a lonely gay man.” If, of course, they responded at all, which many do not. Silence. I heard crickets. My own labored breathing. But nothing for weeks.

I also think gay sensibility informs so much now, the industry has become a little blasé about it. Gay characters abound, sassy trannies show up on Page 83.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Well you have Dreamspinner now who know a good book when they see one. *g*

Rodney Ross Indeed. I was elated that they found worth in my work because, as I said, it doesn’t really conform to certain strictures they indicate in their Submission requests. So I felt they appreciated the writing…and their Editorial Staff is without peer, lauding what they felt was good and gracefully indicating where I’d made a misstep, overstated something or needed clarification.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews So you found Dreamspinner Press is breaking newish ground in the M/M genre, does this mean you have another book in the works?

Rodney Ross I do indeed, and it does an LGBT component, but isn’t driven by it, so I don’t know where it will find a nice home. But yes, I DO think Dreamspinner took a bit of a gamble on me; I hope readers do, as well. If people are seeking hot sex scenes, they won’t find them, but they will find a whirling dervish of a plot, some twists and, I hope, a sense of fulfillment for my character by the final page.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews I think people who read M/M are now opening up to more versatile story-lines and we appreciate the authors who take a chance on us. 😉

Rodney Ross I hope you are right. I am a bit apprehensive. I myself like to read explicit sex passages, but it didn’t feel right for this particular tale…since its first-person, it would have come across as a bit more salacious, like a lovemaking narrative.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews So, after the experience that you have had, what would you recommend to someone else who is thinking of submitting their work?

Rodney Ross I didn’t even THINK about this as M/M, frankly; I just thought it about one gay man and his survival.

DSP has been so kind. Their responses to inquiries are lightning-fast. I just E-mailed this AM to lightly grouse about it not being on Amazon or Barnes & Noble yet, and I had a response within 30 minutes. The answer: big e-tailers will go “live” with it when they damn well choose, but the detail has been furnished to them.

Of course, fiscally-speaking, I would much prefer people buy from DSP directly, or request it at their local bookstore, but I also know people tote around gift cards, and there are those are NOT comfortable registering at an LGBT website, whether because they are closeted or just don’t like to “register” anywhere.

Elizabeth North has assembled a dazzling and capable staff that truly appreciate the writer and their voice; I never once felt at all they were trying to cookie-cutter me into anything.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Hmmm, we always try to post the direct link to the publishers when we do a review as it shows support to the author and the publishers… and I think I read somewhere that authors get a better percentage from a publishers sale. Okay, you spoke about publicity earlier so I have Got to ask, where the hell is your website?

Rodney Ross I don’t have one, nor will I. Knowing my own OCD characteristics, it would consume too much time, administering, blogging, updating, and I wouldn’t get any writing done. I know, I KNOW, this does not particularly endear me to those who want access to their author’s site, but I will direct people to FB, or Twitter. I’m savvy enough to know my own weaknesses, and I would be so engaged with the site, decades would pass and my novel-in-progress would languish.

And yes, I DO get a better percentage from a direct sale from DSP…but I still have friends, family and others who do the Amazon thang, and they are growing impatient with me. But hell, yes, hon, put up those Direct LINKIES!

I am a slow methodical writer who polishes as he goes along, and my output is probably not as prodigious or as swift as many others….hence, the limitations I place on myself when it comes to Internet visibility.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews LOL, I know what you mean, sometimes you can lose yourself in trying to keep on top of everything and then fall behind *sigh* I do that with writing reviews. So stick a profile up on Goodreads chick, I did a web search for you and ended up with a Rodney Ross who writes articles for Bass Fishing, Gah.

Please tell me that wasn’t you!!

Rodney Ross Uhm, no, that wasn’t me, and yes, I will take your counsel and update my GOODREADS Profile; I am pretty sure I have one, but it may need more detail re: the novel and such.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews The novel is on there just no personal information or contact details 😉 so this is where I get personal… does you have an all over tan? *snigger*

Rodney Ross Currently, yes. I and my traveling companions spent a little time at a clothing-optional resort where we exercised our option.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Okay I am really jealous… I have grey skies and rain and hail. *sigh*

Rodney Ross As I mentioned, I am in Palm Springs CA this week, where it has been a hellish 107 the other day….but, of course, it’s a “dry heat,” whatever the fuck that means.  It’s been a good trip. They — a couple such cuties — actually went hiking today to Joshua Tree.

I said, “See ‘ya” and eyed a breakfast burrito. I haven’t yet let them read the book; they want to discover it at my book signing in Key West mid-June.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Lucky you.  I am going to be sick with jealousy. Okay back on track, what hobbies do you have, when you have the time?

Rodney Ross I garden, tend my three glorious cats, give my husband unsolicited advice, judge strangers, pass gas and blame others, travel.

Pixie MmgoodbookreviewsPortia will make sure we are coherent… I think.

Rodney Ross We’re both theatre buffs, so we do NYC a coupla times yearly, just returned from there weeks ago, a friend is managing EVITA so I had to check out the Ricky Martin mojo.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews So honest answer here, you and hubby have been together for thirty years… did you start dating when you were ten?, because you so don’t look over forty in your pictures.

Rodney Ross We really are so fortunate to have retired early enough to still be vital and run around and enjoy stuff, before health makes its inevitable decisions for us.

We courted in college and were living together by our senior year, true story, and yes, I have availed myself of coupla surgical procedures, so thank you making me feel my money was well-spent.

I am 50. This, when I type it, makes me go into a light convulsion. I may have to take to the bed with a cold compress and gin through a bendy straw.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Wow. hope my hubby looks that good at fifty, but I doubt it. Lol  Hmmm Gin.

Rodney Ross Botox, laser resurfacing and some light lipo under the chin, that’s the key. Better living Through Sutures.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews An honest man, if it makes you happy do it, that’s my motto. So a few more rambles, Let everyone know where they can find you so they can let you know how much they love The Cool Part Of His Pillow.

Rodney Ross People can join me on Facebook, or they can search for THE COOL PART OF HIS PILLOW Page on FB, they can access my gasbag Twitter thoughts @RodTRoss, or they can E-mail me at

And if they ever visit Key West, just look in the gutter.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews God, you had me snorting tea out my nose then. That burned.

Rodney Ross I will never deny that I favor a drink or 12.

Sorry. Now how would I know you were sipping something as sophisticated as tea when I am actually staring at a bottle of Grey Goose on our bar and wondering: is it too early?

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Because I am English and a proper lady *stop that sniggering Portia*

Rodney Ross My friends will return and I’ll be half-blotto in my shorty robe, showing a shiny nut and babbling about someone named Pixie and Portia.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews They will call the men in the white coats. Lol

Rodney Ross If they’re cute and hung, let ’em in.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Okay, the most important question of the interview… ~drum roll~ If the world became a magical place tomorrow, what magical or mythical creature would you be?

Rodney Ross Probably a fire-breathing dragon, so I could hunt down those who wronged me and char their ass.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews  Yeah. A kindred soul, although I’d be a hell-hound.

Rodney Ross I have recurring dreams of flying, as it is, and God knows I get the heartburn after Mexican, so I am actually halfway to dragon status. And wearing these sandals out here has given me a scaly hoof, too.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Oh god, Portia will kill us when she reads this, but what a way to go, I’ve had loads of fun Rodney, but I will have to draw the interview to a close, otherwise were gunna delve into the unknown. So, Rodney it has been a pleasure to have you here on MM Good Book Reviews and I have had a ton of fun, any last words to your new fans?

Rodney Ross Buy my damn book.

I thank you so much for hostessing me. Sorry for the singed nostrils, but if you had unfortunate hairs that probably took care of them.

Well, I guess if they are NEW fans they did buy my damn book, so let me amend that: thank you for buying my book. To those who haven’t: buy my damn book.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews God I love you, you’re brilliant, and we will have to do this again when you release your next one.

Rodney Ross Yes, please, ma’am, I’ll take another! My best wishes to you and yours. Grey Goose is calling me.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Bye Rodney thanks again for the interview.

Rodney Ross  Bye!

Interview with Debut Dreamspinner writer, Jeremy Pack

I’m sure I’ve mentioned that my favorite part of my job is finding new authors.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the old pros who have become friends since MM Good Book Reviews came into existence, but there is nothing like the raw energy from the writer who is seeing their debut novel listed on a publisher’s web site for the first time, to bless my jaded heart.  Jeremy Pack is my latest acquisition and I brought my lead reviewer, Pixie alone for the ride.  Actually, in this case, I’m not sure who is leading who.  Not two hours after I sent Pixie Jeremy’s debut novel, The Heart of the Jungle, I caught Pixie pimping it on Facebook.  Not to be outdone, I made contact with this wonderful young man and the rest, as they say is history.  Jeremy and his partner Jason are really nice guys and I wished they lived closer.

Pixie lives in England and Jeremy lives on the West Coast of the US, but through the magic of technology, they were able to hook up and chat.  Hope you enjoy getting to know Jeremy Pack a little better.  Trust me; he’s going to be on the scene for a long time.


Friday morning in the MM Good Book Review Cyber Interview Room

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Hi Jeremy, seeing as I’m in England and you’re in America we need to synchronize our watches lol so we can interview in real time.

Jeremy Pack Indeed! You have but to snap your fingers. I’m at your beck and call, Pixie! XO

Friday afternoon

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Is you there? *peeks about*

Jeremy Pack A little slow on the uptake, but I’m present and accounted for. Mostly. XO

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Oh good. Let’s get the grilling, err I mean interview, under way. I will be making it up as I go along, because when I stalked you, er I mean, when I was doing background, I couldn’t find much about you. 😉

Jeremy Pack Wonderful. I’m an open book. (Be glad you can’t see me, though, after that midnight movie, I look like the wreck of the Hesperus.) Do I need to be here or somewhere else?

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Here’s fine Portia will do all the technical stuff later. Lol, that’s what bosses are for. And she’s the best. *innocent look*

Jeremy Pack Brilliant. Don’t make this easy on me, now. Go for the jugular.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Okay, Jeremy tell us a bit about yourself and how you originally started writing.

Jeremy Pack I grew up in a small town in southeastern Idaho. More Mormons per-capita than in the heart of Zion. As far as I was aware, I was the only gay person in the whole world. I didn’t feel like I had a place in the universe, so I started creating my own. I have stacks of spiral notebooks with quirky little romances that I wrote to fulfill that need for intimate affection. Of course, these days, I don’t have a need to invent love to fill an empty place in my life, but I’ve been doing it so long it’s become a part of who I am. Even if I never have the opportunity to publish another book, I am sure I’ll still be writing my quirky little love stories for as long as I live.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews ‎*g* Now there’s a bit of an interesting story as to how you rediscovered The Heart Of The Jungle isn’t there, involving cleaning the attic?

Jeremy Pack Yes. (That attic. Ugh.) Interestingly, I started writing The Heart of the Jungle about 10 years ago and abandoned it about 2/3 of the way through. I have a nasty habit of hitting the midway point, seeing something shiny, and becoming distracted. In any case, I discovered it and got chills because it was as if I had been whispering bits and pieces of what was to come in my own life to my former self. At the time I wrote it, I was struggling in a relationship with a man very much like I describe Michael Blake and dreaming (as I always had) about having children. Years later, I am a VERY proud daddy, and my Jason bears an absolutely UNCANNY resemblance to the one I invented in the book. Even the way Chris is undone at the first sight of his Jason mirrors the schoolboy befuddlement of the first time I laid eyes on mine. My heart still races. That’s why I chose to finish and polish it. Submitting it for publication, though, I owe that one to Jason. He made me do it.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews It sounds like your man, Jason, is very proud of you and what you have achieved and you sound very happy together. So I am going to be very nosy and ask how did you two meet and how old is your daughter Elise?

Jeremy Pack This is the jugular part… HAHA. Good job!

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Of course, you gave me free rein. *evil grin*

Jeremy Pack I mentioned a difficult former relationship earlier–after 14 years, and shortly after Ellie was born, we parted ways. He moved to Phoenix, and Ellie visits him for a couple of weeks every year. I met Jason online while I was there picking her up. I had to spend a couple of days before I could bring her home and was lonely for company. We had instant chemistry–and sushi. We got to know each other over text message for the next several months. Now, a little more than two years later, he’s become an irreplaceable part of both my life and Ellie’s. She worships him, and he is the greatest co-parent I could ever have imagined.

Jeremy Pack Ellie is six now. I adopted her at birth through a local agency that specializes in working with non-traditional families. She’s one of my life’s most beautiful and precious gifts. I imagined parenthood would be wonderful, but the reality is so much more. As Chris says, “It’s something as deep as your soul.”

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews  Aaahhh. That’s so sweet. I love finding out how people fall in love and you are so lucky to have such a beautiful daughter and she looks a touch mischievous. I bet she keeps you both on your toes. *sigh* so back to books. The Heart of the Jungle is your first solo story, but you did release a co-authored book with your mom, Cindy Aitchinson, about ten years ago didn’t you?

Jeremy Pack I did. It’s a quirky little supernatural story. (Not m/m) Mother and son bonding more than a serious go at writing. I think we loved the time spent together coming up with it at this coffee shop called “Jitters”, more than the actual attempt at writing a book. It’s self-published and the joy on my mom’s face at holding the book in her hand the first time is a treasured memory. She’s, without a doubt, the most incredible woman I’ve ever known. I owe all of who I am, as a man, to her example.

Jeremy Pack By the way: Mischievous is an understatement regarding Ellie. It’s a good thing she’s cute, because she’s got my mouth. God save us.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews It sounds like you and your mom have a wonderful relationship. Your mom must be so proud of your new book. For those who haven’t had a chance to read it yet, explain a bit about The Heart of the Jungle.

Jeremy Pack I like to describe The Heart of the Jungle as my diabolical side at work. It’s a mystery primarily, the kind that peels away in layers like an onion the further you go along. The caper at its core is complex, which was a fun mental challenge–particularly revealing it in bits to allow readers the fun of trying to guess at the untangling threads. (I love that kind of story, myself.) There’s a romance between the two main characters which I tried to portray realistically, so readers will likely find it to be more subtle than the standards of the M/M genre. I think Dreamspinner took a chance on this one, because it’s quite different from many of the M/M romances I’ve read. Understandably, this could be off-putting to some readers.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews I have to say I loved it, it was very true to life with the relationship and the mystery, suspense, and thriller part was extremely well-written. What made you take a chance with submitting this one? As how you said, it is different from the majority of M/M, at the moment.

Jeremy Pack First: Thank you so much for those kind words. Gosh, I still feel like I’m dreaming when someone tells me they liked my work…

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews You’d better get used to it. *g*

Jeremy Pack Actually, Jason is to blame for the submission. I have a decided lack of self-confidence and he swore to me if I didn’t send it in, he was going to do it for me. I tried to explain that I didn’t think it would be accepted because it is unconventional, but that was just me having a bad case of the chickenshits.

Jeremy Pack Oops. I probably should keep this clean. Sorry about the naughty word.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Don’t worry Portia will clean it up if need be *smirk*

*pop in*Portia de Moncur I ain’t cleaning up shit. 😉 *pop out*

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews ‎*pout*

Jeremy Pack I’ll be more careful. LOL. I’ve got terminal potty mouth.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews  Lol. You haven’t heard anything, when the boss gets going the air turns blue. *g*

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Jeremy, I saw on your website that you posted a little explanation about not following the convention of what people have come to expect from the M/M genre, can I ask why you felt the need to explain?

Jeremy Pack I have to tell you, I have agonized over the sex in the book for months. I wrote a blog post about it so that readers who look for erotic content don’t walk away disappointed. I don’t know if I will ever be able to write really explicit love scenes. It’s one of those contradictions about me that makes me a bit quirky. Doesn’t mean I don’t love to read them when my fellow authors write them, though. *Wink*

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Yeah, I can totally get on board with that.  Lol. So, I noticed that you have another book in the works; To Touch the Stars is that going to be a mystery as well?

Jeremy Pack My worst nightmare is a disappointed reader. I recognize the value of both time and emotional investment in a story–you have expectations about where the journey might take you when you crack open a book and I’ve been let down more than once in my years of reading. I don’t ever want to do that to someone else.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews I think most readers will enjoy your book quite well, it’s heavy on the story and light on the sex but it is a fantastic story… *face palm* I’m gushing again aren’t I ~rolls eyes~

Jeremy Pack  To Touch the Stars isn’t a mystery actually. It’s certainly got its share of suspense and action, but it’s an historical romance. It was my dream project–a book I didn’t think I had it in me to write. I will very rarely say anything approaching boastful, but I personally feel like it’s the best writing I’ve ever done. I poured my soul into that text, and even if it never sees the light of day, I am proud of the message it delivers.

Jeremy Pack And I’m blushing and grinning like a loon. I adore you!

Jeremy Pack Now that it’s done, though, I’m deep into plotting my next one. It will be a mystery and it’s going to be a doozy. Diabolical Jeremy has learned a thing or two. *Rubs hands together*… So much fun!

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Well, I hope it gets accepted soon so I can read it… err, so we all can read it, I mean. *grins innocently* And I adore your writing. OOoohhh another mystery gimme, gimme, gimme, err what I meant to say was, stop plotting start writing.

Jeremy Pack I write very quickly and have an aggressive schedule set for myself. I hope to always have another submission ready when a book releases so that something is always in the pipeline.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews  Good. I won’t have to put your name on my ‘authors to hunt’ list. *bwahahahah* Okay, Jeremy as a new comer to the genre what would you advise someone who is currently thinking of submitting their work?

Jeremy Pack So very kind of you, Pixie! It makes me so happy that you would look forward to something I’ve written. That’s about the highest honor a writer can be given.

Jeremy Pack M/M is a relatively young genre–it’s an incredibly exciting time to be joining the party. As a writer, it feels like there is a vast amount of uncharted frontier to explore. So far, my experience has been that the audience and the industry are incredibly supportive and open-minded. That’s something you won’t get with a big 6 publisher. Experiment. Don’t be afraid of taking a risk. (Of course I’m saying this selfishly as a reader, too. I LOVE authors that take me to places I’ve never been before.) I can’t wait to see how the genre grows and develops over time–particularly as the risk-takers are embraced by the wide open arms that are waiting to receive them.

Jeremy Pack My God, Pixie, it’s almost 11:00 where you’re at. I feel horrible for keeping you up so late!!

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Did you have anyone that you turned to for advice or support who was already established in the M/M genre?

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Would you like to continue tomorrow maybe a bit earlier? 😉

Jeremy Pack The first M/M novel I ever read was Blind Items by Kate McMurray. When I finished it, I was so overcome; I dashed off a long, gushing letter to her. In hindsight, it felt a bit stalkery, but she was incredibly gracious about it. I’ve been a big fan ever since. She inspired me to hope that there might be a place for my work.

Jeremy Pack Dreamspinner Press maintains a community for authors where we can gather and network. That board has been an absolute godsend for me. The Dreamspinner family is the most amazing group of people I have ever had the good fortune to associate with. I’ve grown immensely from my time with them. Special thanks to Kate Sherwood who gave me fantastic advice early in the writing of To Touch the Stars. I owe my personal pride in that work to her counsel. She is brilliant!

Jeremy Pack And yes, please, sleep! I’m completely free this weekend.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Thank you, what time is it for you now? I can work out a time then that we can meet tomorrow 😉

Jeremy Pack It’s 3:00 in the afternoon here in Seattle.

Jeremy Pack I’m usually up by 5:30 or 6:00 am. Happy to connect with you anytime after I’ve had my first cup of coffee.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews  Wow.  Really? Okay, so I will be on about 4pm which should be your 8am. 😉 I will have plenty of tea at hand, so I will be happy.

Jeremy Pack Wonderful. I’ll be at the keyboard. Sweet dreams to you, Pixie! Thank you again for absolutely everything. I really can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Tell me tomorrow *grins cheekily* night or afternoon. *wink*

Jeremy Pack LOL–Goodnight!

Saturday morning

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Helllooo are you there, Jeremy? Let me know if you are receiving me on the other side. wooo hooo *grin*

Jeremy Pack Hey, good morning! I hope you got some good sleep last night.

Jeremy Pack Guess it is evening for you, though…

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews I slept like a baby. 😉 And it’s late afternoon, so I will just ask a few more questions so it shouldn’t take too long.

Jeremy Pack I’m yours for as long as you’ll have me, Pixie. 😉

*pop in*Portia de Moncur ‎*rolling eyes* Oh, God…chill with the kissing up…the little imp is already plotting world domination…next it will be the universe *off to get first cup of coffee**pop out*

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Ah, Honey, don’t make me offers like that. I just might keep you as my personal author. LOL. So you are with Dreamspinner Press. I have to ask because as a reader I really don’t know, but do they offer loads of support and walk you through the process and stuff and if they do explain it to us readers.

Jeremy Pack LOL Portia de

Jeremy Pack The team at Dreamspinner has been absolutely wonderful. Writing a book is only the first step in a long process before release. Each book goes through three rounds of edits and a couple of proof-reads, not to mention blurb writing, cover art, and marketing… The editors are excellent. They saved readers from a 12 hour car trip without a single stop to pee, a corpse abandoned in a closet, and a magically appearing cigarette in the hand of my favorite character. Every step of the way, Elizabeth (the Executive Director) and Lynn (the Editor in Chief) made themselves available to me. If I had a question, they responded to me nearly instantaneously. I NEVER expected that the production process would be so user-friendly. Aside from that, the author community is always buzzing and jam-packed with folks willing to offer advice and support.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews That’s wonderful, it’s nice to know our favorite authors are taken care of. So when you write do you have a certain process that you follow or is it just when it comes to you?

Jeremy Pack I generally write a couple of chapters if I have a new idea to see if the story has legs. If it does, I’ll write an outline and character biographies. I do a lot of research, too–both experiential kinds of research (like learning to fly a plane) as well as lots and lots of reading. I like to develop a good working knowledge of a subject, even if I don’t include all of the little details. I write in a very linear way. Beginning to end, and whenever I can spare a moment. There’s a lovely Zen garden at my workplace where I sit on lunch breaks, and I often dictate in the car on my commute home. During polishing, one other thing that helps me is to listen to my work read aloud. I use a software program that converts the text into speech. “Amy”, the synthesized voice, is a very proper British woman who has become almost like a real person to me. I LOVE her! (And she cracks me up when she uses invective. It’s priceless!)

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Hmmm but you don’t call her ‘Amy’ do you?

Jeremy Pack No way. Amy is much too bland. She sounds uncannily like Anjelica Houston to me. We’re on nickname basis now, so I have taken to calling her Angie-baby.

Jeremy Pack To wax serious for a moment, though: Flow and cadence are something I really strive for in my writing. Listening to the text aloud helps me find stuttering passages and repetition. It also helps me make sure my characters speak distinctly.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews I can guess at what she would call you if she could! And it great that you do that as well Jeremy I can’t tell you the amount of times that I have been heaved out of a book because the speech is to bland or just sounds wrong (the voices talk in my head… don’t push it). So other than creating nicknames for voices what else do you do in your spare time (you know those five minutes in between your work, writing, partner and daughter) 😉

Jeremy Pack Free time? What’s that?

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews LOL, so no hobbies besides going to see the Avengers film at MIDNIGHT

Jeremy Pack Kidding. My house was built in the late 1800s, so I do a lot of renovation–and I love it. Jason and I like to go camping and fishing in the summer. I read voraciously, play video games with Elise, garden. I’m very dull in real life… haha.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Ah reading… so what types of books do you read and who’s your favorite author?

Jeremy Pack I’m very genre agnostic. I tore through the Pendergast series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. (Excellent, excellent mysteries) and loved them. I’m a big fan of Dean Koontz, as well, and I adore Mary Roach (Bonk and Packing for Mars). On the M/M side, I’ve recently read Poppy Dennison’s Mind Magic and loved it, anything by Rick Reed, and of course I continue to be a big fan of Kate McMurray.

Jeremy Pack My favorite author is Jean M. Auel–if only for The Clan of the Cave Bear. I read it in my formative years, and for anyone who has ever been an outsider, it’s positively inspiring. I make a yearly pilgrimage with it. It’s absolutely my most cherished book of all time.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews You have excellent taste. I applaud you. So I will be bringing this interview to a close soon and I will be asking all authors this question… and then making up a personality type for each answer. * Bwahahahaha…* If the world suddenly became a magical place what magical creature would you be?

Jeremy Pack Wow. Excellent question. Ponders…

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews It could also be a mythical creature 😉

Jeremy Pack I think I would have to choose a sprite–like Puck from a Midsummer Night’s Dream. I’m a little bit mischievous and elusive myself, so having license to give in to those inclinations is appealing. Plus, the whole sylvan lifestyle. Yes, please.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Hmmm I will have to think up something suitable *evil grin*. So Jeremy let you legions of fans know where they can find you.

Jeremy Pack Disclaimer: Sprite Attire + Jeremy = Eww… Imagine at your own risk. LOL

Jeremy Pack I’m on the web at, twitter @JeremyPack1973, and Facebook at, FB Fan Page:

Jeremy Pack

All things Jeremy

Jeremy Pack Legions of fans… LOL.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews  Yes. I say Legions, so it will be Legions, so says the Pixie. Ohhhh. I missed that what does the J stand for.

Jeremy Pack Oh no. This is REALLY the jugular.

Jeremy Pack My middle name is Joe. Jeremy Joe.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Ha ha, that’s why Portia usually keeps me looked in a cage lol

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews And that should say Locked

Jeremy Pack LOL–mean Portia!*pop in* Whatever.*pop out*

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Okay. Jeremy I think that’s everything I can think of at the moment, if I have missed anything I am sure Portia will tell me. But, I want to thank you for taking time out of your busy days to answer my questions and say it was a pleasure to chat with you and hope we can do it again.

Jeremy Pack I’ve loved spending time with you, Pixie. I hope I haven’t bored you to tears, ’cause I’ve had a great time! Really hope we get the chance to meet in real life. I owe you a big hug, or at least a stiff drink.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews No pure pleasure Jeremy and thanks again and if you do come to England I am sure we can arrange something 😉

Jeremy Pack Added to the bucket list. Now off to slay the pernicious morning glory. The nasty bitch is trying to kill my lilacs. Hope you have a wonderful evening, Pixie. Don’t be a stranger!

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Bye